What does it take to get a mobile app launched onto the Apple or Android store?

December 15, 2020

By:  John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
Los Angeles Bizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC

A few times a month I get this exact question from potential customers interested in building a mobile app, and for good reason. If you are a small business owner or start-up, and you have never tried to develop an app before, how would you know what to do? To shed some light on the subject, I was recently talking with a new customer and she asked some very pointed questions. I wrote them down and decided I would share the answers with anyone whose interested. Here we go.

Question 1. How, exactly, is an application for an account sent to the Android Store? Does Los Angeles Bizz do it, or do I?

Answer: Actually, you have only asked half the question. You left out the application process regarding the Apple App Store since 90% of our customers need their mobile app to run on both Android and Apple platforms. For Android, you will first need to create Google Developer Account. See the link at the bottom of this article for additional information. As of this writing, which I refer to only as "pandemic year", the cost of setting up the account is $25 which includes lifetime access. Los Angeles Bizz takes care of the APK file extension which is needed to download and provide the resources you will need for your app to run an Android device. For Apple, it is a similar process. You will need to create an Apple Developer Account. The cost of setting up the account is $99 per year for individual accounts and $299 for organizational accounts. Once each of these accounts is set-up, there are no additional fees for uploading an application to their platforms.

Question 2. How long does it take to get each application approved?

Answer: Generally speaking, the volume of applications being received on each platform is a factor and can delay approvals up to four weeks, but in most cases, it takes about a week from the time Los Angeles Bizz first uploads an app before an application is approved. Once approved the first time, each subsequent approval usually only takes a day or two.

Question 3. After an application is approved, what are the next steps, and what are the additional costs?

Answer: Once an application is approved, it immediately becomes live for the general public or your intended B2b target market. Costs for supporting the daily operations include backend server hosting (we primarily use AWS and Rackspace), SSL certificates and renewals, the annual Apple Developer Account licensing fees, and any third-party and API fees used in conjunction with the app and its operation. Services like QuickBooks Online, online payroll clock integrations, and/or third-party analytic traffic tools can add anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars to overall operating overhead. Excluded from this list are accounting services, CPA and legal, and the big one... marketing. Additionally, mobile apps, once launched, do not remain static. Whether its changes to the functionality, market shifts, and/or the periodic updates to the Android, iOS, and OS updates, other costs will be incurred during the lifetime of the solution.

There will be app maintenance-cost as well. For Android and iOS platform/OS updates, apps will also need updates, so that will take effort and will cost extra.

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